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As a small business owner, your eye should always be on one of four goals in order to grow your business:
- Increase the number of leads you’re getting
- Increase the number of customers you have
- Increase the amount of profit you get on each customer
- Increase buyer frequency
Today, we’re going to show you a key strategy you can use to increase buyer frequency and therefore make more money from your existing customers. We’ll show you how to modernize the age-old concept of customer follow-up by utilizing email technology applicable to any market.
Email follow-up has been around for decades, but it still isn’t being used enough or correctly. And when you can set up a follow-up system that does the work for you — one that has the potential to double or triple your profit — why not take advantage of that strategy?
If you can spend money just once to acquire a customer and continue profiting from that customer for weeks, months, or even years, that maximizes your profit from every customer.
First, let’s answer a few simple questions:
What’s Your Moneymaker?
- What has your average customer already bought from you? If you only sell a couple of products or services, which is your most popular? If you sell many, which are your top sellers?
- What else might that average customer want to buy from you? (The same product or service after a while? The same product or service immediately? A corresponding product that will help them better utilize what they’ve already bought from you? Now’s your chance to list it out — get specific!)
- If someone got a haircut from you two months ago, maybe it’s time to remind them to stop back in for a trim or let them know that you offer facials and manicures.
- If someone purchased an insurance policy from you a year ago, you might want to find out if anything has changed in their coverage needs.
- If someone has purchased a book on learning to play the piano, is there a DVD you could offer them with additional instructional videos to make it easier for them?
- If you offer informational-based products or physical products, is there a service that you could offer that would help your customers accomplish their goals faster than using the product on their own?
- If someone has purchased a weight loss supplement, perhaps you could offer a diet plan, an exercise plan or a workout DVD to help them achieve their goals quicker.
- If someone bought a piece of sporting equipment, how about offering them lessons?
- For a customer of musical instruments or books, you could offer music lessons or set up a workshop in your business and invite former customers in.
- A scuba shop that sold someone equipment could offer a dive vacation or more advanced certification.
For some businesses, it might be easy to come up with the right answers, but for some, it might be tricky to answer each of these questions. It’s important that you really take a few minutes to think through your service list or your inventory, and get some solid ideas in mind for this exercise, otherwise there won’t be anything actionable for you at the end of this newsletter.
Have you got those answers in mind now? Good!
The next thing you’re going to want is automated email follow-up software. One of the most popular and inexpensive programs on the market today is MailChimp. But if you think a more robust system would better serve your needs, InfusionSoft is a great application that can help your business scale to the next level (and then some!).
If you are just getting started and have a very small customer list, you may not need to get an automated system just yet, but you’ll still want to implement the same techniques manually. Plus MailChimp is free for smaller accounts!
Prepping Your List
A great way to organize your customer list is by which product or service they purchased. It’s even better if you can also organize them by the product or service they might be interested in next.
In MailChimp, this is done through separating your customers into different lists. In InfusionSoft and other CRMs (Customer Relationship Management programs) this is done through “tagging,” labelling each contact in a certain way. Some CRM programs may have a different name for this function.
Separating customers into lists or tagging them allows you to easily put together a mailing for a particular segment of your list. It also makes it very easy to automate email follow-up, so that you can set something up once and let it work for you on autopilot from there.
Crafting The Right Message
Every market is different and as a business owner, you undoubtedly know your market. If you give it some thought, you’ll probably be able to come up with an angle for your offer that makes it nearly irresistible for your customers.
It might be as simple as asking them, “Want some help with that?” To someone facing a challenging task with little knowledge of the area, that offer might come at just the right moment.
Like just about everything with marketing, it requires some testing to see which copy, images (or no images) and headlines bring you the best results. Keep your copy and offer highly relevant to your customer, their purchase, and their area of interest for best results.
Start by keeping it simple — identify your customers by their interests and which product or service would come next for them naturally and make them a great offer on it, one that’s personalized to them.
Once you’ve got the feel of email follow-up, you can do some more research and begin adjusting and testing different elements. But remember that any follow-up is far better than no follow-up. If you haven’t been following up with past customers yet, you’re very likely to see some serious improvement by sending out any messages, even if they are rough at first.
And, as always, if you need help with that, all you have to do is ask the team here at Visual Edge Design!